The Week In Cannabis: Aurora's Earnings Disappointment, Michigan's Great Week, And More
This was a tough week for cannabis stocks, with all ETFs down driven by disappointing earnings reports.
Over the five trading days of the week:
- The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE:MJ): lost 6.8%
- The AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (NYSE:YOLO): was down 7%
- The Cannabis ETF (NYSE:THCX): was down 9%
- The Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (NYSE:CNBS): tumbled 3.8%
- The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) was down 0.4%.
The news was dominated by Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB)’s fourth-quarter earnings report. The Edmonton, Canada-based company said it lost more than CA$3.3 billion ($2.5 billion) in the fiscal year closing Tuesday.
Total net revenue of CA$72.1 million ($54.1 million) signified a 5% drop from the previous quarter. Net revenue for consumer cannabis in the recreational market was CA$35.3 million ($26.7 million) dropping 9% from the previous quarter. Medical cannabis net revenue was $32.2 million ($24.2 million), a 4% increase from the prior quarter, attributed to an overall market growth in Canada and Europe. Net loss from continuing operations was CA$1.86 billion ($1.40 billion).
The shares plummeted following the results, and some analyst rating updates.
Piper Sandler analyst Michael Lavery maintained a Neutral rating on Aurora Cannabis and lowered the price target from $10 to $8. Needham analyst Matt McGinley maintained a Hold rating. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic maintained an Overweight rating and raised the price target from CA$17.50 to CA$18.
Over the fourth quarter, 18 stock-keeping units (SKUs) were launched within the Canadian market. The Toronto-based company also reported losing over $139 million in the fiscal year ending June 30.
“Closed dispensaries and closed offices have had a ripple effect on companies ranging from retail dispensary stores to ancillary businesses,” Debra Borchardt, editor-in-chief of Green Market Report, told Benzinga. “While some have seen business recover as stores reopened, others have had a slower bounce back and some have had to pivot their business altogether. Getting labeled an essential business was no guarantee that businesses wouldn't be hurt.”
See details on all of these results and more on Benzinga Cannabis’ Earnings Center.
The Michigan Senate approved new expungement measures that would allow hundreds of thousands of people to clear their criminal records in an effort to ease entry into the workforce. If signed into law, Michigan intends to use an automated system for expungements of certain felonies after 10 years and misdemeanors after seven years. While the measures do not include DWI offenses, they are expected to help roughly 235,000 people in Michigan who have misdemeanor records stemming from marijuana use or possession.
Hoban Law Group filed a petition on behalf of RE Botanicals Inc. and the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) asking theU.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review an interim final rule on hemp production. “Implementation of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” which was promulgated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) last month, stipulates all hemp derivatives and extracts exceeding 0.3% THC content will continue to be classified as Schedule I controlled substances. The complaint, filed on Sept. 18, claims this interim final rule is unlawful, as it exceeds the DEA’s legal authority.
Benzinga Cannabis’ content is now available in Spanish on El Planteo.
Vertically-integrated Arizona cannabis company Copperstate Farms committed to raising $100,000 for nonprofit coalition Last Prisoner Project. Over the ten-month partnership, funding will go directly to criminal justice reform initiatives.
Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (NYSE:IIPR) bought a property in Lakeland, Florida, for roughly $19.6 million, excluding transaction costs.
Psychedelic drug development company MindMed (NEO: MMED) (OTCQB:MMEDF) has submitted an application to cross-list on NASDAQ.
Berner’s Cookies wants to offer cannabis medicine in Florida in the year to come. Under the two-year expansion plan, the Miami-based company is constructing a vertically integrated medical marijuana treatment center to bring to Florida patients a “wide variety of high-quality products.”
MediPharm Labs Corp. (TSX:LABS) (OTCQX:MEDIF) confirmed a partnership with a Rio de Janeiro, Brazil-based distributor, which will bolster the company's delivery services to the largest medical cannabis market in Latin America. Pursuant to the two-year deal, which would commence upon the product authorization, MediPharm Labs opted to provide a wide range of cannabis concentrate formats for formulated products later distributed by XLR8 BRAZIL.
Drug Policy Action has provided a roadmap to meaningfully address the need for drug policy reform. Specifically, this document — which has been provided to both U.S. presidential campaigns — lays out recommendations for federal drug policy reform addressing criminal legal reform and ending the war on drugs, police reform, drug decriminalization, marijuana reform, and harm reduction and substance use disorder treatment. It also provides an outline of federal bills the next Administration should support. These recommendations take into account the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency.
Epidyolex, the first FDA approved CBD medicine for severe epilepsy in children, received Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval. GW Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:GWPH) confirmed that TGA authorized the medicine to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age and older.
IM Cannabis Corp. (CSE:IMCC) launched its medical cannabis brand in the burgeoning German market. The company confirmed that the first shipment of its branded product, a High THC T20/1 medical cannabis dry flower, arrived at four German distributors and is now available to every pharmacy in Germany that is licensed to distribute narcotics. Oren Shuster, CEO of IM Cannabis Corp., said the goal is to elevate the IMC brand in Germany and other European markets to "the same premium level it has held in Israel for over a decade."
Risk management, insurance, employee benefits, and wealth management company IMA Financial Group tapped Michael Hennessey to lead the expansion of its national cannabis practice.
“Our goal is to provide owners and operators with information and infrastructure to best mitigate and transfer corporate risk. We want to ensure clients are fully aware of what their insurance program covers but, more importantly what is not covered and treat them like any other normalized industry from a process and resource perspective,” said Hennessey. “IMA has a promising future in supporting the cannabis industry and I could not be more enthused for what lies ahead.”
Petalfast Inc. announced its official launch, as well as the acquisition of A.P. Keaton’s cannabis business. The agency will feature two divisions, a go-to-market accelerator (only available in California, with other states to follow) and ongoing agency services which include marketing, sales, PR and social (available to brands nationally).
Petalfast was founded by CEO Jason Vegotsky and COO/General Counsel Arun Kurichety — both former executives of KushCo Holdings Inc. (OTCQX:KSHB). "There have been a number of products built in cannabis but only a few brands. Building a brand is about connecting to a specific consumer through the product that you sell. Brand building has been successfully done for years in the CPG and Food/Bev spaces but very few have done it in both the traditional CPG space and the cannabis space," Vegotsky told Benzinga. "Enter A.P. Keaton, a best-in-class marketing firm that represents some of the biggest brands in the CPG world and in the cannabis space. At Petalfast, the combination of A.P. Keaton 's talent and our seasoned cannabis sales team is a force that has not been seen in cannabis to date."
Preferred-CBD became the first CBD company to partner with Veterans Advantage, a community for military and veteran discounts. As a result of the partnership, members of Veterans Advantage and their families now have access to clean, triple tested, and discounted CBD products from Preferred-CBD. "When the other founders of Preferred-CBD and I met over the last four years, we all agreed developing, selling, and distributing high quality CBD products at a discount to our military veterans was to be a top priority," Jim O’Leary, CEO of Preferred-CBD, told Benzinga. "Preferred-CBD is working with other veteran organizations in order to spread CBD education to as many veterans as possible. We can’t say thank you enough to our military."
The University of California, Irvine partnered with Wholistic Research and Education Foundation to conduct a Cannabinoid Anxiety Relief Education Study (C.A.R.E.S.) to explore how effective CBD and cannabis are to reduce anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Additional partners include hemp and cannabis infusion company Vertosa, who will promote participation in the study’s survey, which will be distributed to millions of CBD users. C.A.R.E.S. will also collect demographic, geographic and other data points, such as medication, dietary supplement, and alcohol use, yielding important insights on potential health benefits of CBD and cannabis.
Ethos Cannabis acquired three Maryland medical cannabis dispensaries from 4Front. The three operational dispensary licenses are in Rockville, Catonsville, and Hampden, Maryland, which are outside Baltimore and Washington D.C., respectively. Eventually, these dispensaries will be rebranded to Ethos.
Teddy Scott, CEO of Ethos Cannabis, told Benzinga, "Entering the Maryland market through these acquisitions of operational dispensaries is very exciting for us at Ethos. This is a very strategic move, representing the third state we have expanded in, following Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. These acquisitions also follow the raising of over $50 million in debt and equity completed by Ethos."
Dutchie was named one of LinkedIn’s Top 50 Startups of 2020. This honor is awarded to companies that have been able to successfully navigate the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and continue to attract new investors, employees, and attention. Dutchie is ranked No.12 of 50 startups on the list. “We are excited to earn the honor and distinction from LinkedIn and about the opportunities for our company and team that lie ahead as we continue to scale," CEO and Co-founder Ross Lipson told Benzinga. "We’re laser focused on building strong engagement with our team and a culture that creates excitement and a sense of pride for working at Dutchie."
PUREXTRACTS partnered with HERBL Solutions, as its exclusive distributor of products in California. With more than 850 stores in its network, HERBL is one of California's largest cannabis distributors and supply chain solutions companies. "Our new partnership with HERBL gives us instant access to 850 retailers throughout California," said Adam Yader, Founder and CEO of PUREXTRACTS.
Pharmaceutical company CURE Pharmaceutical Holdings (OTCQB:CURR) agreed to acquire CBD products company Sera Labs Inc. for $20 million.
Top Stories Of The Week
Check out the top stories on Benzinga Cannabis this week:
- Playboy's CEO Urges Congress To Pass MORE Act
- Cantor Fitzgerald Sees 'Near-Term Upside' For Canopy Growth
- Benzinga Cannabis Hour: Wielding Hemp To Offset Climate Change
- Psychedelics Companies Look To 'Functional Mushrooms' For Opportunities
- NORML's Executive Director Talks Cannabis Ballot Questions In Mississippi, South Dakota
Top Spanish stories:
- Soberanía de los Estados Mentales: una Aproximación a Byung Chul Han
- Aceite de Cannabis: Te Explicamos Todas sus Variedades
- ¿Cómo se Hace el LSD?
- 0800 Don Rouch, el Joyero del Trap Argentino
- ¿Cómo Invertir en Criptomonedas en Argentina?
- ¿Qué Significa Estar ‘High’? ¿Y ‘Stoned’? ¿Existe una Diferencia?
- Cómo Hacer una Desintoxicación de THC
Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.
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